Black Mass at Harvard – Communion in the Hand

Various blogs today are reporting about a “black mass” that is to be held at an institution connected with the once-great, but now-lost, Harvard University. (For example, see here.)

Fr. Finelli has rightly observed one of the things that is at the root of this problem: communion in the handSee his excellent post here.

Satanism seems to be on the rise throughout the West, but many people naively still hold on to the idea that “black masses” and such are things that really don’t happen, that they are legends, that they are only in movies, etc. No. They do happen. And the reception of Holy Communion in the hand makes it even easier – and more common – for people to steal the host and use it for such nefarious purposes.

Fr. Finelli also rightly points out that many priests who worry about such things are quickly dismissed as uptight, “rigid rubricists”. I would add that people also accuse such priests of being “scrupulous”. Neither accusation is in any way founded.

No, communion in the hand – I am more and more convinced – is a bad idea that has not contributed to greater devotion towards the Holy Eucharist. On the contrary! As Fr. Finelli points out, many people do not receive properly in the hand, no matter how much they are instructed. I can confirm this from my own experience. It is simply a bad idea. There is also no historical precedent for the manner in which it is currently received in the hand.

Read my previous post about this topic here. And be sure to read what Fr. Finelli wrote.

And please, whether you agree with me (and Fr. Finelli, and MANY other priests) or not, PLEASE say a prayer of reparation for this horrible thing that is happening in Massachusetts. This “black mass” is publicly known; but there are many others that happen unbeknownst to us. Whether a consecrated host is involved or not, these ceremonies are always very grave evils, outrageously offensive to God and all that is holy, and they always put immortal souls in danger of being eternally separated from God in hell.

Perhaps we can all, as an act of reparation, make a resolution always to receive Holy Communion reverently on the tongue! At the very least, let us take some time in prayer to console our Lord and beg that he bring the offenders to conversion. May Our Lady of the Rosary and Blessed Bartolo Longo attain this grace for them all!

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Want something more substantial to read about the problems with communion in the hand? Read this short and excellent book by Bishop Athanasius Schneider.

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As this is the sort of topic that tends to get some people really worked up, I may not post every comment received, especially if it is evident that the commenter did not read both my previous post and Fr. Finelli’s post, both linked above. Think and read before you comment.

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12 Responses to Black Mass at Harvard – Communion in the Hand

  1. Bob says:

    As a Eucharist Minister and one who especially welcomes the opportunity to serve the host, I am constantly vigilant to be certain the recipient consumes the blessed sacrament before they are out of my sight. On two occasions I have had to ask that the species be consumed. I agree with Father that we can not be too careful with this most precious gift, but I also think many EMs are far to lax in the way they serve, so an immediate thing I think a priest could do without being offensive to a hotly debated topic is give more and frequent instruction to the EMs. In our church it is my opinion this is done far too infrequently as it is.

    • Dear Bob, I know of your reverence in distributing Holy Communion and I greatly appreciate it. However, quite apart from the problem of keeping an eye on people who might not consume right away, there are several other problems with distributing and receiving in the hand, that do not have to do only with how the EMHC does his job. More instruction is needed all around, but as I said in the post, there are certain things that just do not change no matter how much instruction is given.

  2. I have not received in the hands for years, since I learned of the abuses…an act of reparation will be said by me.

  3. Bob Boffa says:

    The saddest thing I ever saw was (R I P) Fr. Peter McCarthy changing Hymnals In the pews, when a Sacred Host fell to the floor. Fr cried for almost an hour as he reverently picked Jesus up and “took care” of Him. It was a horror I shall never forget. Thank you for bringing this to our attention.

  4. Thank you. As the First Communion catechist at my parish, in cooperation with my Pastor, I teach the children to receive Holy Communion on the tongue. I teach them and their parents how abuses occur when Communion is received in the hand. Unfortunately, soon after First Communion, most of the children stop receiving on the tongue and choose to receive in the hand.

  5. richardchonak says:

    FYI, Fr. Bryan, the story from Harvard has been updated: the “Satanists” now say they are not using a consecrated host:

  6. I totally agree. I wish the church would wise up about this. Is so bothers me when I go to mass and see the great majority accepting communion in the hand. Why is this allowed, or somehow supposed to be better? We even have t write a song about it!.

  7. Theresa Longland says:

    “Memoriale Domini” (May 28, 19 69) :Changes brought about in such an important matter can also include dangers which will eventually be born by this new manner of distributing Holy Communion (Communion in the hand), i.e., less respect for the noble Sacrament of the Altar: a
    profanation of this Sacrament; an adulteration of the true doctrine. That is why the Supreme Pontiff has judged that the traditional manner of distributing Holy Communion to the faithful should not be changed. Also, the Holy See actively exhorts Bishops, priests and the faithful to
    zealously uphold the law which has always been in force and which is hereby confirmed.”

    • Yes, a very conflicted document. Bishop Schneider talks about cites it frequently in his new book “Corpus Christi”, which I think will be out in English translation soon.

  8. Chester says:

    I have read about this black mass on Fr. Finelli’s site , and do agree when you say that Satanism, along with witchcraft, have had a huge growth in popularity. It seems that both groups are antagonistic towards Catholics. Whether the host is consecrated or not , someone of authority within the Church should make a public statement both to Harvard University, and to the Catholic community about this upcoming event. What has the Bishop of Boston said publicly about Harvard sponsoring a black mass that is so offensive to his congregation?

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